The saint* and I have a true penchant for being seated next to loud people in restaurants. It reminds me of being assigned the seat next to the noisy kid in grade school. The logic of the teachers, and perhaps the hostess, must be the sound/lack of sound will balance out. But it never works. All it does is annoy us quiet, reflective people and grates on our patience. And if we’re polite, we think we need to make conversation back to the class clown. (I have.) Come, now. Let’s rethink this maneuver.
Today was such an occasion. The two dudes (and dudes is a fitting term) appeared to be employed by some sort of military contract and were talking shop. Loudly. Dude One asked lots of questions, talked most of the time and appeared to encourage Dude Two in his career aspirations. Dude Two appeared to want to move someday and continue his military career elsewhere. Dude One began describing a potential place to Dude Two in punctuated interest:
“…They’ve got everything there, it’s a nice area. They even have a mosque so it’s good for finding terrorists.”
I looked up, startled. The man was in his 30’s or less, possibly Hispanic, but spoke with a jock/valley boy like accent. When he ordered from the South American menu, he had a refined Spanish accent.
I poured my Coca Cola over his $40 polo shirt and left.
Continue reading “Things Overhead in a Restaurant: Mosques, Loud Neighbors & Bigotry”